The Honors Institute at Hinds Community College is expanding to the Rankin Campus effective for fall 2016, a move touted as a response to the community.
“Students and parents from Rankin County have been asking for an expansion of the Honors Institute for several years,” said Dr. Norman Session, vice president for the Rankin Campus and two-time Principal of the Year in the Rankin County school system at Pisgah High School where he was previously employed.
Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse approved the expansion officially on Sept. 18. Some Honors classes will be offered in the spring, with a full launch next August. Joy Rhoads, chair of the Social Sciences Division, will coordinate the program at the Rankin Campus.
In place at the Raymond Campus, since fall 1996, the Honors Institute provides an enhanced and supportive learning environment for students. The Institute offers programming in four broad areas – Honors Program, Leadership Studies, International Studies and Phi Theta Kappa.
“We believe more Rankin County students will attend Hinds if they have access to the Honors Institute at the Rankin campus,” Session said. “There are dozens that qualify, some already on campus here.”
Rhoads said details such as class offerings and teaching assignments are under development. Staff at Raymond and Rankin are working closely to establish quality programs on the Rankin Campus.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to build on and expand an already successful Honors Program,” Rhoads said. “This expansion will afford students on the Rankin Campus an enhanced learning opportunity through a collaborative and inclusive environment as well as an opportunity to benefit the college and our community through leadership and service. Certainly, we are grateful for the support we have been given in this undertaking, and we expect that this expansion will serve our students well.”
Rhoads and Honors Program District Director Dr. Ben Cloyd will assist students in class selection and community service. “By next fall, a full range of Honors course offerings will be available to Rankin Campus students,” Cloyd said.
“Honors courses will be a boon to the Rankin Campus, for they will offer stimulation to students who wish to grow intellectually and to the faculty who teach them,” said Gary Fox, academic dean for the Rankin campus. “Naturally, the Rankin community also will profit from their growth.”
Students who enroll in Honors classes at Hinds will have the opportunity to earn Honors scholarships each semester and be considered for priority enrollment in international study and leadership classes.
Session said the Honors Program will be a draw for high school graduates who have participated in the college dual enrollment program. “This program is a new scholarship opportunity for students attending the Rankin Campus,” he said.
The program remains inclusive and requires no previous Honors experience, said District Honors Institute Dean Deborah McCollum. Students can qualify for the program on three criteria – a composite score of 25 or better on the ACT, a 3.5 or better high school GPA (on a 4.0 scale) or a Hinds GPA of 3.5 or better based on college transfer credit classes.
“The Hinds program was developed according to guidelines established by the National Collegiate Honors Council, and we proudly remain a member of this organization today. We are very pleased to offer this programming to students on the Rankin Campus,” McCollum said.